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Arkansas Owes Residents $100 Million

Arkansas- home to a certain libidinous but pardoned former U.S. President, the Razorbacks, and the Crater of Diamonds State Park where professional and amateur prospectors can search for quartz, garnet, diamonds (the official state gem), amethyst and other precious gems. State Auditor Jim Woods, however, is urging both current and former residents of the Ozark state to search for a different kind of wealth. And they don’t even need to don prospecting gear while doing it.

Over $100 million in Arkansas unclaimed money and property is just waiting to be claimed by their long-lost owners who may number around 240,000. Even Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s names have come-up on the list! “Ten percent of the people in Arkansas have unclaimed property here and all they have to do is come forward to claim it,” Jim Wood, State Auditor, says in a report done by the Arkansas News Bureau. Over the course of time, people lose track of their assets due to change of address, change in name (i.e. Marriage), death, or plain forgetfulness. Businesses also may be owed unclaimed money from abandoned assets brought about by lapses in their record keeping during the course of operation.

According to the NAUPA, (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators), “Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.”

The latter are the only tangible assets that the state holds for the owners, and puts them on public display (State Fairs, malls, etc.) every October and November in an effort to reunite them with their owners. No one knows what might come out of these abandoned safe deposit boxes: savings bonds, old coins, magazines commemorating the Razorbacks’ 1994 college basketball championship, an authentic Texas Rangers law-enforcement badge, even several 10-ounce bars of silver. If not claimed within a certain period, these items are put on sale on eBay and the proceeds put back into the state fund where they can still be claimed.

Annual lists of new owners of Arkansas unclaimed money and property are also published in newspapers and booths set-up at state fairs (over $18 million is added to the Arkansas unclaimed property fund ever year). Full lists of owners can be found online or calling by telephone.

As the figures show, these efforts by the State Auditor’s office is still inadequate and most state residents are still unaware of the presence of unclaimed money, Most people that do know think it’s too much of a hassle and don’t even bother to find-out how to access lost cash in Arkansas. It’s way simpler than you think. Get started on your own treasure hunt right now.